Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Julius Caesar > Act I, scene II

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	[Flourish. Enter CAESAR; ANTONY, for the course;
	CALPURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS BRUTUS, CICERO, BRUTUS,
	CASSIUS, and CASCA; a great crowd following, among
	them a Soothsayer]

CAESAR: Calpurnia!

CASCA:          Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.

CAESAR: Calpurnia!

CALPURNIA: Here, my lord.

CAESAR: Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
	When he doth run his course. Antonius!

ANTONY: Caesar, my lord?

CAESAR: Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
	To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
	The barren, touched in this holy chase,
	Shake off their sterile curse.

ANTONY: I shall remember:
	When Caesar says 'do this,' it is perform'd.

CAESAR: Set on; and leave no ceremony out.

	[Flourish]

Soothsayer: Caesar!

CAESAR: Ha! who calls?

CASCA: Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!

CAESAR: Who is it in the press that calls on me?
	I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
	Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: What man is that?

BRUTUS: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: Set him before me; let me see his face.

CASSIUS: Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

CAESAR: What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.

	[Sennet. Exeunt all except BRUTUS and CASSIUS]

CASSIUS: Will you go see the order of the course?

BRUTUS: Not I.

CASSIUS: I pray you, do.

BRUTUS: I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
	Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
	Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
	I'll leave you.

CASSIUS: Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
	I have not from your eyes that gentleness
	And show of love as I was wont to have:
	You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
	Over your friend that loves you.

BRUTUS: Cassius,
	Be not deceived: if I have veil'd my look,
	I turn the trouble of my countenance
	Merely upon myself. Vexed I am
	Of late with passions of some difference,
	Conceptions only proper to myself,
	Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors;
	But let not therefore my good friends be grieved--
	Among which number, Cassius, be you one--
	Nor construe any further my neglect,
	Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
	Forgets the shows of love to other men.

CASSIUS: Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;
	By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
	Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
	Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?

BRUTUS: No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
	But by reflection, by some other things.

CASSIUS: 'Tis just:
	And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
	That you have no such mirrors as will turn
	Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
	That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
	Where many of the best respect in Rome,
	Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus
	And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
	Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.

BRUTUS: Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
	That you would have me seek into myself
	For that which is not in me?

CASSIUS: Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear:
	And since you know you cannot see yourself
	So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
	Will modestly discover to yourself
	That of yourself which you yet know not of.
	And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus:
	Were I a common laugher, or did use
	To stale with ordinary oaths my love
	To every new protester; if you know
	That I do fawn on men and hug them hard
	And after scandal them, or if you know
	That I profess myself in banqueting
	To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

	[Flourish, and shout]

BRUTUS: What means this shouting? I do fear, the people
	Choose Caesar for their king.

CASSIUS: Ay, do you fear it?
	Then must I think you would not have it so.

BRUTUS: I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.
	But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
	What is it that you would impart to me?
	If it be aught toward the general good,
	Set honour in one eye and death i' the other,
	And I will look on both indifferently,
	For let the gods so speed me as I love
	The name of honour more than I fear death.

CASSIUS: I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
	As well as I do know your outward favour.
	Well, honour is the subject of my story.
	I cannot tell what you and other men
	Think of this life; but, for my single self,
	I had as lief not be as live to be
	In awe of such a thing as I myself.
	I was born free as Caesar; so were you:
	We both have fed as well, and we can both
	Endure the winter's cold as well as he:
	For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
	The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
	Caesar said to me 'Darest thou, Cassius, now
	Leap in with me into this angry flood,
	And swim to yonder point?' Upon the word,
	Accoutred as I was, I plunged in
	And bade him follow; so indeed he did.
	The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
	With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
	And stemming it with hearts of controversy;
	But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
	Caesar cried 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'
	I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor,
	Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
	The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
	Did I the tired Caesar. And this man
	Is now become a god, and Cassius is
	A wretched creature and must bend his body,
	If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.
	He had a fever when he was in Spain,
	And when the fit was on him, I did mark
	How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake;
	His coward lips did from their colour fly,
	And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
	Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
	Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
	Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
	Alas, it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius,'
	As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me
	A man of such a feeble temper should
	So get the start of the majestic world
	And bear the palm alone.

	[Shout. Flourish]

BRUTUS: Another general shout!
	I do believe that these applauses are
	For some new honours that are heap'd on Caesar.

CASSIUS: Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
	Like a Colossus, and we petty men
	Walk under his huge legs and peep about
	To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
	Men at some time are masters of their fates:
	The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
	But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
	Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?
	Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
	Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
	Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
	Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
	Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
	Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
	Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
	That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
	Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
	When went there by an age, since the great flood,
	But it was famed with more than with one man?
	When could they say till now, that talk'd of Rome,
	That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
	Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,
	When there is in it but one only man.
	O, you and I have heard our fathers say,
	There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd
	The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
	As easily as a king.

BRUTUS: That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
	What you would work me to, I have some aim:
	How I have thought of this and of these times,
	I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
	I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
	Be any further moved. What you have said
	I will consider; what you have to say
	I will with patience hear, and find a time
	Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
	Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
	Brutus had rather be a villager
	Than to repute himself a son of Rome
	Under these hard conditions as this time
	Is like to lay upon us.

CASSIUS: I am glad that my weak words
	Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

BRUTUS: The games are done and Caesar is returning.

CASSIUS: As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
	And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
	What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.

	[Re-enter CAESAR and his Train]

BRUTUS: I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,
	The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,
	And all the rest look like a chidden train:
	Calpurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero
	Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
	As we have seen him in the Capitol,
	Being cross'd in conference by some senators.

CASSIUS: Casca will tell us what the matter is.

CAESAR: Antonius!

ANTONY: Caesar?

CAESAR: Let me have men about me that are fat;
	Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
	Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
	He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

ANTONY: Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;
	He is a noble Roman and well given.

CAESAR: Would he were fatter! But I fear him not:
	Yet if my name were liable to fear,
	I do not know the man I should avoid
	So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
	He is a great observer and he looks
	Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
	As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
	Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
	As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit
	That could be moved to smile at any thing.
	Such men as he be never at heart's ease
	Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
	And therefore are they very dangerous.
	I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd
	Than what I fear; for always I am Caesar.
	Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
	And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.

	[Sennet. Exeunt CAESAR and all his Train, but CASCA]

CASCA: You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with me?

BRUTUS: Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced to-day,
	That Caesar looks so sad.

CASCA: Why, you were with him, were you not?

BRUTUS: I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

CASCA: Why, there was a crown offered him: and being
	offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand,
	thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.

BRUTUS: What was the second noise for?

CASCA: Why, for that too.

CASSIUS: They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?

CASCA: Why, for that too.

BRUTUS: Was the crown offered him thrice?

CASCA: Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every
	time gentler than other, and at every putting-by
	mine honest neighbours shouted.

CASSIUS: Who offered him the crown?

CASCA: Why, Antony.

BRUTUS: Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

CASCA: I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it:
	it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark
	Antony offer him a crown;--yet 'twas not a crown
	neither, 'twas one of these coronets;--and, as I told
	you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my
	thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he
	offered it to him again; then he put it by again:
	but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his
	fingers off it. And then he offered it the third
	time; he put it the third time by: and still as he
	refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their
	chapped hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps
	and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because
	Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked
	Caesar; for he swounded and fell down at it: and
	for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of
	opening my lips and receiving the bad air.

CASSIUS: But, soft, I pray you: what, did Caesar swound?

CASCA: He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at
	mouth, and was speechless.

BRUTUS: 'Tis very like: he hath the failing sickness.

CASSIUS: No, Caesar hath it not; but you and I,
	And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

CASCA: I know not what you mean by that; but, I am sure,
	Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not
	clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and
	displeased them, as they use to do the players in
	the theatre, I am no true man.

BRUTUS: What said he when he came unto himself?

CASCA: Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the
	common herd was glad he refused the crown, he
	plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his
	throat to cut. An I had been a man of any
	occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word,
	I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so
	he fell. When he came to himself again, he said,
	If he had done or said any thing amiss, he desired
	their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three
	or four wenches, where I stood, cried 'Alas, good
	soul!' and forgave him with all their hearts: but
	there's no heed to be taken of them; if Caesar had
	stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.

BRUTUS: And after that, he came, thus sad, away?

CASCA: Ay.

CASSIUS: Did Cicero say any thing?

CASCA: Ay, he spoke Greek.

CASSIUS: To what effect?

CASCA: Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the
	face again: but those that understood him smiled at
	one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own
	part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more
	news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs
	off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you
	well. There was more foolery yet, if I could
	remember it.

CASSIUS: Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?

CASCA: No, I am promised forth.

CASSIUS: Will you dine with me to-morrow?

CASCA: Ay, if I be alive and your mind hold and your dinner
	worth the eating.

CASSIUS: Good: I will expect you.

CASCA: Do so. Farewell, both.

	[Exit]

BRUTUS: What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
	He was quick mettle when he went to school.

CASSIUS: So is he now in execution
	Of any bold or noble enterprise,
	However he puts on this tardy form.
	This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
	Which gives men stomach to digest his words
	With better appetite.

BRUTUS: And so it is. For this time I will leave you:
	To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
	I will come home to you; or, if you will,
	Come home to me, and I will wait for you.

CASSIUS: I will do so: till then, think of the world.

	[Exit BRUTUS]

	Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
	Thy honourable metal may be wrought
	From that it is disposed: therefore it is meet
	That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
	For who so firm that cannot be seduced?
	Caesar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus:
	If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius,
	He should not humour me. I will this night,
	In several hands, in at his windows throw,
	As if they came from several citizens,
	Writings all tending to the great opinion
	That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely
	Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at:
	And after this let Caesar seat him sure;
	For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

	[Exit]




	JULIUS CAESAR






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